I have been asked about post TURP operation effects, the topic I wrote about here - Tomorrow's Leopard. I have many emails, two male friends of ours have had lengthy discussions with me, and what's really intriguing is all of our female friends have been very concerned to know how it has affected me. They're pretty cool with the operation, but are really interested about the ongoing physical effects upon myself. They are really concerned. We've got great friends for which we are very thrilled to have, so there has been some weird discussions and a lot of banter going on, particularly after we've all got together over dinner and the wine has been flowing. I can't blame them for being so intrigued because for we mere males, it can be a scary operation, but of course never as bad as having a baby I'm constantly reminded by all the females in my life. So let's run through the after effects.
|Leopard at Naankuse awaiting release.|
New ideas include running other animals with herds to protect them. Read about the amazing programs introducing huge Kangal and Anatolian dogs from Turkey and Central Asia to protect farmers livestock from cheetah and leopard here-
and on video here-
youtube Guard dog program
And there is even a program of training donkeys to run with the cattle. The female donkey will foal just before the cattle, and will not just guard her foal, but all the calves in the herd!
In concert with these programs, many farmers are beginning to farm small herds of gazelle, or springbok as a prey base buffer to ensure they don't attack the livestock. New methods, new ideas... invaluable to protect the last 12,000 cheetah in this world and the near threatened leopard.
Travel Africa magazine has an excellent article here which outlines the history of Africat and how they are developing strategies to minimize human-wildlife conflict. Naankuse just outside of Windhoek, Namibia, ( where Kay and I met up with our daughters Elissa and Emma for a volunteer period in July 2009, ) also operate a rehabilitation and release scheme. Naankuse have rehabilitated and released many large cats- leopard, cheetah and caracal as well as hyena into wilderness areas in the Namib Rand away from farms. GPS collars are fitted to track their ability to survive in their new ranges. Other cheetah, leopards and lions that are too human habituated to release are living their lives out in huge enclosures. It is sad to see them there, but better than them being shot as they would seek food near humans if released and be a danger.
|Lions at Naankuse. The male is neutered to prevent breeding.|
I don't like to think of another wild creature being shot, when perhaps education, and new ideas can be used to intervene and perhaps deter leopard attacks on livestock, or have them captured and relocated. As a traveller, take the time to read more about these issues, and perhaps even consider a volunteer period at one of the wildlife sanctuaries. I'll list some below. Hopefully Hendrik or his village kids will never have to kill another leopard. They are magnificent creatures.
As to the other subject of "Tomorrow's Leopard", the operation, the after effects have been not so bad. Bored ( pun intended ) at sitting ( well not for very long...) around home, I toddled off to work the Wednesday after the op, and tenderly waddled around getting light duties done. Pain killers and Sachets of ural alkalinisers got me through, and 10 days after the op I'm off those and fully mobile and banging out those shoes at work. 18 days later, I'm almost completely over it. Gee, it's been pretty easy to get through. I probably shouldn't have said that because... it's not as bad as having a baby, you know! Occasionally, can't a man have a bit of mothering?
Oh and did I hear another woman ask about that other thing again?
I'm not telling but there's a clue here-
Oh and by the way, the bathroom cabinet has been bothering us both since I put it up...we just worked out that it's on the wall- upside down!